Reflection on Part Two

This is where it got going!

Part two started with how a sensor captures light and introduced the concept of response curves and gamma. Whilst perhaps not having much practical value, I found it useful to understand this and the discussion comparing sensor response with film and the eye that ensued on the forum was stimulating and interesting.

This was followed with sections on highlight clipping and noise, leading to the definition of dynamic range. I’m not sure if I got the calculation of my camera’s dynamic range quite right, I’m sure it should be more than 7.7 stops I calculated. But this misses the point, the learning came in the doing, the evaluation and the reasoning behind it. This all added up to an increased understanding of what dynamic range really means, what defines the top and bottom limits of it and it prepared the way for the next section where we evaluated the dynamic range of a scene.

Dynamic range, or contrast range, seems so simple to me now but it has taken a long time to get there. These exercises have proved valuable to my understanding of the idea and I am sure will prove invaluable to my future photography.

Colour cast and white balance were covered in the Art of Photography so this section was not as useful but I used it to improve my understanding of how my camera deals with it and uncovered some useful idiosyncrasies.

The assignment was a challenge! I dreaded not being able to use Photoshop to correct exposure, white balance and other errors and doubted my ability to get it all correct in the camera. On top of this was the ongoing supplication to produce a coherent set of images. I did more planning and preparation for this assignment than any previously, discovered another photographer (Chip Simon) whose work I relate to for its whimsical nature and in the end produced a nice set of images. There are some flaws and I plan to reshoot some of them for the assignment, but I’m waiting for tutor feedback first.

All in all, I found this a challenging but rewarding part of the course. I’ve learnt plenty, put it into practise and am ready for “Processing the Image.”

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